This post may contain affiliate links. See our affiliate disclaimer here.
The hardest part of anything is your first action item. It’s that first step that suddenly makes a project real and tactile and maybe a little bit more terrifying.
If you never take that first step, it doesn’t have to be real. It’s a side project. It’s a hobby. It’s a thought. It’s a dream. It’s an “Oh yeah, I was going to do that, but then xyz came up and I became too busy.”
The first step is crucial to either growing, or re-writing the same item on your to-do list day after day, without ever putting in the energy toward accomplishing it. (Something I clearly know nothing about).
This idea manifests itself in a lot of different areas of my life:
- I need my wedding dress to fit, so I should exercise and work out.
- I need to clean my room, so I should go ahead and make my bed.
- I need to go to the grocery store, so I should change out of my pajamas and venture into the brutal sunlight.
- I need to blog now and promote our trip, so I should sit down and write.
They are little things with big repercussions.
If I don’t take care of my body now, then I won’t feel 100% in my wedding dress because I know I didn’t put in the effort.
If I don’t clean my room like I said I would yesterday, I know I’ll get halfway through writing thank you notes or halfway through getting dressed for the gym when laundry on the floor will distract me and pull me away from more important tasks.
If I don’t change clothes for the grocery store, I’ll eat plain scrambled eggs for breakfast in my pajamas… Okay, that doesn’t sound too bad.
But if I don’t write now, what will make me write a book?
If I don’t take that first difficult step, why does the dream in my head still show me successful and happy eating breakfast tacos?
You must take action if you want something to happen.
The first step is the hardest.
That’s why you have to do it first. Once you hit send on that application or once you call that person or write that blog or climb back on that horse, the rest of the day is a breeze.
After conquering the first thing, the hardest thing, you’re ready to take on whatever comes next.
Whenever Heath and I first started dating, he told me he wanted to learn more about eating healthy and learn how to cook. I taught him how to crack an egg. He had no idea how (I had to stifle my shock).
He’s probably cracked nearly 1,000 eggs since I taught him a year ago and he cooks them every day. He also cooks vegetables and rice, grills chicken, makes homemade French fries, and eats almost completely gluten and lactose free.
A couple weeks ago, I bought reduced sugar Almond Breeze almond milk. He picked up the carton and instantly began to tell me that reduced sugar and no added sugar usually meant they added artificial sweeteners, which aren’t healthy, and that I shouldn’t have purchased it.
My jaw dropped. I felt like Mr. Miyagi beaming at Danielson.
After that first step, he learned and grew. He ate green vegetables, gluten-free pretzels, and told me all about juice cleanses. Once he learned how to crack an egg, he ate less cereal and pop tarts.
It was one simple step that set forth a complete change.
More importantly, when he asked me to teach him, I laughed. I mocked him a little. You don’t know how to crack an egg? I’m pretty sure I made full batches of homemade cookie dough when I was nine, I said.
But he still wanted to learn.
The first step is hard and you must overcome opposition or ridicule or disbelief to accomplish it.
But if you aren’t going to do it, who will?